The 6.1Mp (megapixel) D70 is by far the cheapest Nikon digital SLR camera yet, costing just £799 for the body alone or £999 with an 18–70mm lens. This is a welcome proposition for owners of Nikkor 35mm lenses, or indeed anyone who fancies trading up from a high-end consumer all-in-one camera.

Although its sub-£1,000 price tag and 6Mp resolution draws immediate comparisons with Canon’s EOS-300D, the D70 has several factors in its favour. Its build quality is far superior and we think that it’s more professional looking. While noticeably taller than the Canon, this camera is only a fraction heavier.

Nikon’s 18–70mm DX f3.5–4.5 lens costs £200 as part of this package. As the D70’s sensor is smaller than a frame of 35mm film, the effective focal length of all lenses is multiplied 1.5 times – so this feels like a 27–105mm model.

The D70’s sensor has 6.1Mp resolution, delivering 3:2 aspect ratio images with 3,008x2,000 pixels – enough detail to make great-looking A3 inkjet prints. The D70’s sensor, like all other digital SLRs, is much larger than those used in consumer models, and as a consequence it has much lower noise levels.

There’s the usual wide array of shooting modes with shutter speeds ranging from 1/8,000 to more than 30 seconds. Sensitivity runs between 200 and 1,600 ISO and the burst mode can capture a respectable 12 Jpegs at 3fps. There’s a pop-up flash along with a hotshoe and a 1.8in LCD screen for viewing images.

Costing £999 with lens, Nikon’s D70 is one of the most affordable digital SLRs yet. Canon’s 300D delivers similar quality and cost less, but the D70 is better built and handles faster. As such it’s perfect for anyone who wants a classier camera but isn’t prepared to spend more than £1,000.

  • Nikon:
  • £799 inc VAT, £999 inc VAT with 18–70mm DX lens

  • Build quality – 9/10
  • Features - 8/10
  • Value for money - 8/10