Earlier this year, Apple invited photographers to take their best macro images using the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Participants had only a few weeks to submit their top shots for a chance at being featured in a gallery on Apple Newsroom, apple.com, Apple Instagram (@apple), and possibly even in digital campaigns, Apple Store locations, billboards, or in a public photo exhibition. Marketing (and free content gathering for Apple) aside, the contest is a great demonstration of what consumer-grade computational photography can do.
If you’re wondering why macro or close-up shots, in particular, are the highlight here, it’s because the iPhone 13 Pro models come with a new ultra-wide camera with an f/1.8 aperture that can take photos from only 2cm away—something even pricey macro lenses can’t achieve.
Today, the company announced the victors, and the winning photos look as if they’d been shot on a mirrorless camera. Just keep in mind as you view these that the participating photographers could edit photos using third-party software, so don’t expect such high-quality images straight out of an iPhone. Remember, the best camera is the one you have in your pocket—with a trained eye and some simple editing techniques, anyone can turn an ordinary photo into a masterpiece.
Anyhow, these photos do prove the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are capable of taking tack-sharp macros from very close distances. Without further ado, here are the winning photos in Apple’s iPhone Macro Challenge. Oh, and let us know in the comments which one of these is your favorite!