Specifically, this micro gimbal mechanism consists of a magnetic frame controlled by voice coils (similar concept to conventional OIS but further refined), along with a suspension bracket connected to the base with double ball bearings. Together, these enable X- and Y-axis tilt angles of up to 3 degrees each, which is apparently three times that of traditional OIS.
Another challenge here is that the sensor’s ribbon has to be extended and folded into a dual-S shape, in order to ease any tension from twisting during stabilization. Hence the extra surface area (363mm²) taken up by the entire module, though Vivo and its supplier managed to keep the thickness at 4.5mm.
The main benefit of this micro gimbal camera is obviously the more powerful optical stabilization, especially when shooting videos in low-light conditions — the combination of the dual-axis micro gimbal and 3-axis electronic stabilization vastly reduces shakiness. You can see for yourself in Vivo’s demo clip.
Likewise, still photos apparently work a lot better in the dark as well thanks to this technology, with Vivo claiming that with OIS disabled, a 1/50-second shutter speed here closely matches the results of a 1/8-second shot with OIS enabled. That’s a 6.25-time boost in capture speed under that test condition. Vivo added that even when extended to 1/4 seconds, the X50 Pro’s shots looked just as good as the 1/8-second shots with traditional OIS. And when pushing to 1/2-second long exposures in the same low-light condition, the X50 Pro still maintained a 64-percent performance, whatever that means.