The GH5S strikes out in a bit of a new direction for Panasonic, but if it’s anything like other range-topping cameras, we expect it to have a two-to-three-year life cycle. While a few of the controls felt flimsy, the camera is otherwise very well made and should hold up to the rigors of professional use for a long time.
Here’s the kicker: If you’re asking yourself this question because you’re trying to decide between this and another mirrorless camera, the answer may very well be no. The GH5S is a narrowly focused product for a small group of users, and its benefits simply won’t be obvious to everyone — nor will they necessarily outweigh its detriments, like the higher cost, lower resolution still photos, and lack of built-in image stabilization.
As a consumer technology site, we have to acknowledge that the GH5S does not bring as much value to as many people as the regular GH5. Vloggers, travel and wedding videographers, and still photographers who need a capable hybrid camera are all likely better off with the non-S model. This is why we’re giving the GH5S a lower score than its sibling.
That said, if you are among the few who have been looking for a hyper-focused mirrorless camera for shooting video; if you’re not deterred by the challenge of working with log gamma and large files; if you’re simply waiting for yet another confirmation that the GH5S is as good as everyone says it is; then yes, by all means, buy one.