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| p.1 #7 · 'Budget' birding with D7000 and new 80-400? |
The D7000 AF is plenty fast for birding IMO. There are edge cases in low light where the D7100 probably beats it, but it's not worth the premium by itself, IMO, as long as you are OK with only having the centered AF points of the D7000. I used to capture birds in flight on my D90 with an f/5.6 lens -- I'm certain that the D7000 can handle it as well.
As far as zoom vs. prime, though, I've struggled with that myself. For birds alone, I think that the prime+TC wins, because it gets you a bit closer (385 vs. 420 mm) for much less money. In fact, you can get the prime plus a TC and a nice light 70-200 f/4 on the used market for the price of a new 80-400. On the other hand, for walking around and having fun, the 80-400 wins over the prime, because you have such flexibility in what you can shoot.