As sales of SLR Camera’s take off, Nikon has said it will ship an upgraded version of its D2x digital SLR this month.

The new 12-megapixel D2xs carries over many of the performance features of its predecessor, including a 5 fps burst mode at full resolution (JPEG or RAW), a high-speed crop mode and Nikon’s i-TTL Speedlight technology.

New for the D2xs is a refined viewfinder, which Nikon said improves composition in the high-speed crop mode. The camera will also sport a new 2.5-inch LCD with a 170-degree viewing area, longer battery life and new image-rendering capabilities.

The D2xs also offers improved subject acquisition and tracking capabilities as well as a new option for controlling the duration of its Lock-On focus-tracking mechanism.

While shooting in RAW, the camera can capture black and white images while simultaneously storing color information in the file so color can be restored using Nikon’s new Capture NX software. A new Auto ISO feature allows photographers to maintain a specific shutter speed while letting the camera automatically select an appropriate ISO setting, within a predefined range of sensitivities, based on lighting conditions. ISO sensitivity can also be set manually up to ISO 800.

Finally, the D2xs will boast greater battery life thanks to a new EN-EL4a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which Nikon said provides the camera with 3,800 shots per charge.

The D2xs will retail for an estimated $5,500

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