DSLR or smartphone? It is an ancient debate that photographers, enthusiasts and journalists have had ever since the telephone cameras began to become good. Among gadget nerds, advanced lenses or enhanced camera software are often used as reasons to justify a phone upgrade – perhaps before you actually need it. However, many of the winning photos in the iPhone 212121 Awards Awards were taken on older iPhones and still look pretty amazing.
The largest award-winning photo, “Transylvanian Shepherds”, was taken by Hungarian photojournalist Istvan Kerekes on a iPhone 7. And it’s not an outlier either. Several winners in several categories were taken on iPhones that are several years old. The rules of the competition also state that photographers may not use desktop versions of photo editing software, even though mobile versions are allowed.
Here is a collection of some of our favorites, and you can check out the full list of winners here. Remember: The best camera is the one you have with you.