The iPhone Photography Award winners prove you don't need the latest model to take amazing shots

Winning shots comes the cheaper iPhone 11 and iPhone XR and older models, not just the iPhone 12

iPhone camera
(Image credit: Future)

The winners of the iPhone Photography Awards 2021 have been announced, and apart from being generally great inspiration for you can do with a camera on any of the best phones, not just iPhones, they're also a reminder that you don't the latest and greatest camera technology to produce beautiful photos.

Only seven of the winning photos were taking on iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro models, out of 54 winning shots in total. In fact, the overall winning shot was taken on an iPhone 7 (first released way back in 2016). 

There were also winners that used the iPhone 11 range (the iPhone 11 Pro, specifically) and iPhone XR – which are still on-sale, and are much cheaper than the latest models. Clearly, the low price is no impediment to quality and creativity.

The iPhone Photography Awards aren't officially connected with Apple in any way, but are a huge worldwide competition that's hotly contested. Editing of photos isn't allowed with desktop apps, but entries can be altered using iOS apps – as long as it's all handled on the iPhone, it's legit.

Our friends at TechRadar have some great analysis of all the winners, but here are a few we especially loved, including that overall winning shot.

Photographer of the Year Grand Prize: Transylvanian Shepherds by Istvan Kerekes

Image 1 of 7

iPhone Photography Awards 2021

(Image credit: Istvan Kerekes / IPPA 2021)


Photographer of the Year Grand Prize: Transylvanian Shepherds by Istvan Kerekes

Image 1 of 7

iPhone Photography Awards 2021

(Image credit: Istvan Kerekes / IPPA 2021)


Of course, the fact that the images above come from cameras ranging from 2016 to now won't stop us fervently looking for ways that the iPhone 13 will improve things even further – after all, the usefulness of smart image processing isn't that it helps extremely talented photographers to take amazing shots, it's that it helps the rest of us to take great ones.

Matthew Bolton
Matthew Bolton

Matt is T3's master of all things audiovisual, running our TV, speakers and headphones coverage. He also handles smart home products and large appliances, as well as our toys and games articles. He's the only one on the team who can explain both what Dolby Vision IQ is and why the Lego you're building doesn't fit together the way the instructions say, so is truly invaluable.

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