Nikon has announced a feature-rich addition to its digital SLR camera family, the 16.2 megapixel D7000. In addition to a new image processing engine and 3D Matrix metering system, the camera also offers full HD video recording with autofocus, twin media card slots, over a thousand shots between battery charges and up to six frames per second burst shooting. Its low-light-friendly too – with sensitivity expansion to ISO25600, noise reduction and shake reduction all promising to help grab the best shot in the most testing conditions. The D7000 is among the many photographic treats we're checking out at Photokina in Cologne this week.

Built around a magnesium-alloy chassis, the new Nikon D7000 digital SLR camera body has been dust and moisture sealed and features a 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, the company's own 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection and a new EXPEED 2 image processing engine. The smooth, fast focusing system allows for dynamic or single-point autofocus and nine center cross-type sensors plus 3D tracking follow moving subjects and highlight the activated AF point in the eye-level glass pentaprism optical viewfinder.

As well as taking care of the camera's nippy six frames-per-second continuous shooting at full resolution and managing the 50-millisecond shutter response and autofocus capabilities, the new EXPEED 2 engine works with 14-bit analog/digital conversion to bring what Nikon describes as "a new level of even tonal gradations while managing color, contrast, exposure, and noise resulting in brilliant image quality."

Using the 2,016 pixel RGB 3D Matrix Metering System, the Scene Recognition System accesses a database of over 30,000 images to choose optimum focus, exposure and white balance. Low light, flash-free photography gets high sensitivity assist thanks to the standard ISO100 to ISO6400 range – with expansion up to ISO25600 – Vibration Reduction (VR) II and low noise technology.

Live View functionality on the D7000's 3-inch, 921,000 dot resolution LCD display gives the user another option when framing shots or shooting video. The camera offers full 1080p high definition movie recording at 24 frames per second with full-time autofocus, face and subject tracking and on-the-fly exposure adjustment. In addition to a built-in mono microphone there's a stereo mic input and basic movie editing can be done on the camera itself. A HDMI-out port allows for viewing of images or videos on a big screen TV.

Nikon has redesigned the mode dial atop the 5.2 x 4.1 x 3-inch (132 x 103 x 77mm) D7000. Gone are the familiar scene choices in favor of advanced manual functions and a couple of user-defined settings. Other highlights include in-camera image retouching, including direct processing of RAW images and side-by-side image comparison, a virtual horizon indicator helps ensure that your camera is always level if you need it to be, twin media card slots with SDXC support and a new EN-EL15 Li-ion battery that's said to give 1050 shots between charges.

Compatible with numerous NIKKOR lenses courtesy of Nikon's F mount, the D7000 digital SLR will be available from mid-October for a recommended retail of US$1200 for the body-only and US$1500 for a kit which includes the body and AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens.

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