Overall, I found the AF performance of the Nikon D7100 with the 18-105mm kit lens to be fairly fast and accurate, although it's not the fastest lens to focus. Nothing really stood out to me in terms of problems achieving focus, and the AF system was very quiet, as was the VR system.
There are also a variety of dynamic AF modes in Continuous AF mode utilizing clusters of 9, 21 or all 51 AF points, allowing you to fine-tune how the Nikon D7100 assists with autofocus for moving subjects. For sports photography, I would use 9-point Dynamic AF or 21-point Dynamic AF, as I am pretty good at keeping the AF point on a running football player, for example. But I'm not perfect, and the 9-point and 21-point modes use the cluster of AF points surrounding the focus point in case the subject moves out from behind my selected AF point (but still within the array of 9 or 21 AF points). For smaller or more erratically-moving subjects like birds in flight, the 51-point mode utilizes the whole frame of AF points to help assist with autofocus.
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Shooting with the camera. I took the Nikon D7100 out for a variety of shooting sessions for some nature photography, landscapes and bit of architectural photography. The big new features that Nikon is touting for this camera are the 51 autofocus points, up from 39 on the D7000, a 1.3x crop mode and a lack of an optical low-pass filter for high-detail photos, which is similar to the D800E.
Mode dial. A feature I found to be very handy on the Nikon D7100 was the dual-leveled Mode Dial. Like most DSLRs, the main mode dial has the standard array of Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes, as well as various scene and auto modes and a couple of customizable user settings. On the second level, below the main mode dial, there's quick access to Single shot, Continuous Shooting (both Low Speed and High Speed) and Self-Timer release modes. There is also a helpful Quiet Shutter-Release mode, which makes shooting in quieter locations supposedly less obtrusive by leaving the mirror up until the shutter button is released. Using this mode, I found there's definitely a difference in the shutter sound, but it's only a slight decrease in volume.