first foray into the low-end digital camera market has ended in disaster, with the company forced to recall its Coolpix 2000 units due to an error with the model's battery.

The batteries have been overheating and melting, hence the product's withdrawal from sale.

But only a small batch of cameras, all of which can be identified by serial number, has been affected by the problem.

"We are going to set up a helpline, which will go live on Tuesday, for all owners to call," said Elaine Swift, spokesperson at Nikon.

This is bad news for Nikon, as the £165 Coolpix 2000 is its debut offering for the low-end digital camera market.

"We have tested the camera and were very impressed by it — it's a really good camera," said PC Advisor's senior reviews writer Spencer Dalziel. The Coolpix 2000 has been dropped from our tests for the time being.

Faulty models have been withdrawn from sale and Nikon assures customers that this problem does not affect subsequent models leaving the production line.

We will post the helpline number as soon as it is released to us.