After teasing the tech in an ad earlier this week, smartphone maker Vivo has finally revealed details about the “micro-cloud gimbal” stabilization that will be built into the camera on the upcoming X50 Pro. Based on the demos, it looks to be quite a breakthrough.
The ‘gimbal’ design basically trades the usual X and Y axis stabilization of current smartphone OIS systems (and Lens IS systems in bigger cameras) for 3-degrees of Pitch and Yaw stabilization: something you usually only see with IBIS stabilization in “real” cameras.
This optical pitch and yaw correction is then paired with electronic stabilization of X, Y, and Roll, as you can see from this presentation image:
This trade-off makes sense, since EIS should have an easier time correcting for X and Y translational movement + roll vs trying to correct for pitch and yaw. At least X, Y, and roll all happen in the same plane.
Vivo’s demo video seems to back this up. A side by side comparison of the new Micro-Cloud Gimbal technology next to more traditional smartphone OIS suggests a huge improvement (although we’d take this with a grain of salt, since it was created by the brand):
The remaining trade-offs are size and cost. While Vivo still managed to cram everything into a module that’s just 4.5mm thick, it’s still bigger than your typical smartphone camera module, and apparently costs two to three times as much to make. But if the technology can improve stabilization as much as Vivo claims, the benefits in terms of both shake reduction and low-light capabilities will be well worth these costs.
The Vivo X50 Pro is scheduled to be announced in China on June 1st, so we’ll hopefully see real-world tests and comparisons start cropping up very soon. No word on when or if it would ever make it to the United States, but even if the phone doesn’t make it over, there’s reason to believe that the technology will.