First DSLR--still vs. still/video strengths

Started Aug 5, 2013 | Questions thread
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RadioFlyer
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First DSLR--still vs. still/video strengths
Aug 5, 2013

DSLR noob here. After recent safaris, I've decided to buy a DSLR to get beyond the limits of the bridge cameras I used (specifically HS10 and HS30), especially after seeing the results my brother gets with his Sony A55 and 70-400 lens. I narrowed my choice down to the Nikon D7100 with one of the following lens (latest Nikon 70-300 or 80-400, or Sigma 150-500) to handle my primary interests in wildlife and aviation photography. Then I started more serious consideration of video capabilities in DSLRs.

I am using a Sony XR500 camcorder, which performed well during the safaris; I shot more video than I expected. With the XR500 in lowlight mode, I even could do reasonable filming of animals lit by spotlights during night game runs. The XR500 also takes decent photos while shooting video. While I’m satisfied with the XR500, I can see advantages to a combined still/video DSLR, especially if certain lenses get me even closer to the action that the XR500 12x opt zoom.

However, I understand one of the D7100’s limits is video—it doesn’t do as well as its peers.

I would appreciate recommendations and additional considerations that you feel I may have missed in selecting my first DSLR camera. My specific questions:

1. Is there any mid or compact sized DSLR that would provide me with equivalent video to the XR500 while still providing good still shot capability, or should I plan to continue using the XR500 as the primary video camera?

2. It sounds like DSLR lenses may not be fully functional (e.g., AF) when used for video—true?

3. If I get the D7100, which of the 3 telephoto lenses mentioned above would be best for wildlife? I do some birding but mostly for the challenge. I expect to be shooting mostly handheld without a tripod.

Thank you for any guidance/advice.

 RadioFlyer's gear list:RadioFlyer's gear list
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD
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Nikon D7100 Sony SLT-A55
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