I did end up getting the Fuji XT-4 and D500 for a weekend, and for the most part it played out about how I expected. I took them out to the Grand Rapids airport and a park here in Holland and got some pictures of birds and general photography.
XT-4 - was as uncomfortable to hold as I imagined based on pictures, I'm sure a grip would help but I was still holding out hope that it would be better than expected. I did have fun using the camera though and wished I'd had more time to get further into settings and fine-tuning, really for both cameras it was a high-level test so I definitely wasn't getting the best out of either of them.
Coming from my modest D5300 I found the 15 & 20 FPS burst to be totally ridiculous to the point where I actually started laughing when I tried it the first time! I didn't really have anything fast enough to shoot to know with confidence either way whether viewfinder lag would be an issue. I was a little disappointed in the autofocus at times although again I didn't mess a lot with the settings. I have heard that's a bit of a weakness with the camera; the issues I had were at 400mm shooting planes on approach as they came into view.
D500 - melted into my hand, even more comfortable than my current camera. I couldn't believe it. I found myself wanting to pick it up just to hold it a little bit longer before I had to box it back up . Easier to use due to being more familiar with the menu, and I found the 10 FPS to be more than enough.
The one thing that stood out to me immediately was how loud the camera was and how much force the mirror had when taking pictures. Especially when in a museum or other setting like that I can see the noise being a bit of a concern (I believe there is a "quiet" mode which I didn't try out) although I think it actually made it more fun to use. Not a deal breaker but it was unexpected. Size might be an issue though, it fit in my bags decent enough but I'm hoping to not go any larger than the camera I have now if I can help it.
Overall I had fun using both cameras, but I think at this point I'm going to continue waiting for a while and see what may be announced later in the year. If I were to make a decision solely on the few hours I'd spent with them I'd grab another Nikon - the 500 is quite an improvement over my 5300 and it feels gosh dang nice, plus I won't have to buy new lenses right away.
But, if I look at the bigger picture...I lean more toward something like the Fuji being the "right" choice because it has more features that I've been looking for (such as weather sealing, and IBIS & size is on its side) and whether I'm spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new camera I want to make sure I get something that will allow me to expand my photography in the future (while also not paying for features I may ultimately never use).
Also, the 100-400 lens..well...might have given me a case of focal length envy. I had a blast with it and was surprised how much of a difference it made compared to the 300 I'm used to. If I could get a used one for a decent price, I wouldn't necessarily NOT make that the next lens on my list...
I am definitely willing to jump on the Canon train if they come out with something that works for me. I am probably going to hold off on making a decision as well until that releases as well.
https://www.sonyalpharumors.com/rumor-s ... el-in-may/
I've never looked much into their cameras or glass so I don't really have a strong feeling either way about this one other than I'm excited to see what it looks like and maybe take it as a sign of what some of the other manufacturers might do in the next year.
Also saw a while ago that Nikon is expected to announce (if not release) a new APS-C Z series this year but the verdict seems to be split on whether it will be a budget or high-end at this point.
I hope to add a couple more but so far, TOM is the only show on my schedule this year - if I haven't decided on a new camera by then I am considering renting the D500 again along with the Nikon 200-500 lens for the show.
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