The 2021 World Press Photo Category Winners have been announced. And here’s a look at the gear they used to get the work done!
Today, the 2021 World Press Photo Category winners are being announced. These journalists risked their lives in a pandemic to tell lots of different stories. Some of them are pandemic-related. But depending on where you are in the world, you probably haven’t seen these images. I know here in America that much of these photos haven’t made the rounds. And that’s part of what makes this even more fascinating.
A Quick Analysis of the 2021 World Press Photo Category Winners
Last year, we did a fuller analysis of the overall winners. And right now, we’re looking at category winners. This seems to be a much more narrow selection, but still an important one. So this is sort of an Apples to Oranges comparison. In contrast to last year’s winners, there are more phones for sure. This could be a sign of the times. I’m not sure if phones are just getting better, or they’re becoming more accepted. The winners who used their phones aren’t using the latest and greatest. And of course, we shouldn’t forget about the photojournalistic stance on no-editing.
First and foremost, these folks deserve major congratulations. No matter the gear that they used, they’re risking their lives. As I went through the images, I found myself screaming, “Jeez!” It probably upset my neighbors who think I’m a crazy man at 8AM EST when I’m writing this. But one must consider that we are privileged enough to be able to see these experiences. We’re shielded behind a screen and fiberwire. Then there is the culling process that both the photographers and editors did. To my knowledge, no one is using AI yet to make edits. And no AI I think can replace or replicate the human reaction. When a robot can genuinely react as if its heart is racing or let out a sincere gasp, I think we’ll change a bit.
And overall, the point of this is to remind folks that cameras of all types can do great things in anyone’s hands. So here are some major points:
- Canon DSLRs remain great tools. So too do Nikon DSLRs.
- The Leica M mount system should absolutely never be discredited. Lots of reviewers like to scoff at it. So too do photographers. But the images it can create are fascinating.
- DJI’s drones are powerful tools.
- The Fujifilm GFX series is gaining ground. I personally never thought that it was fast enough for photojournalism, but that’s changing with firmware updates. X series is also still strong.
- Not a single Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, or Pentax camera is on this list.
- Mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras weren’t in much use. Fujifilm, Canon, and Leica remain top dogs there despite sales numbers.
- Adapting lenses is still sort of popular.
- As far as lenses go, folks tend to like the first party gear. However, Sigma was used in one instance.
- The Nikon D700 is a camera that’s over a decade old, and still does a great job.
Now here’s a list of the cameras used. We’re using this section to link back to our previous reviews of these cameras for your further research.:
- Leica Q
- Fujifilm XT1
- Fujifilm XT2
- Fujifilm X100F
- Canon 5D Mk III
- Canon 5D Mk IV
- Nikon D850
- Nikon D700 (this camera came out even before I started The Phoblographer over 11 years ago.)
- Leica M
- Leica M10
- Fujifilm GFX 50R
- Fujifilm GFX 50S
- Iphone 6s
- Xiaomi MI8
- DJI Mavic Pro 2
Now, let’s take a deeper look at the photos and the gear used!
Pablo Tosco (No Camera Information Shown)
Canon 5D Mk III with Sigma 24-35mm f2 along with a 50mm and 35mm lens.
Canon 5D Mk III with 35mm f1.4 L, 50mm f1.2 L II, and 24-70mm f2.8 L II.
Zishaan A Latif
Nikon D850 with 28-70mm.
K M Asad
Canon 5D Mk IV with 35mm f1.4 L II
Lalo de Almeida
Canon 5D Mk IV with 24-70mm f2.8 L II along with a DJI Mavic Pro 2
Leica M10 with 35mm f1.4 Summilux, Leica 50mm f1.4 Summilux, and a Leica R lens adapted.
Nikon D850 with 35mm f1.8, 24mm f1.8, and 24-70mm f2.8.
Nikon D4 with 24-70mm f2.8
Fujifilm GFX 50s with 45mm f2.8
Nikon D810 with 24-70mm f2.8 and 35mm f2.
Canon EOS R with a 35mm f1.4 L II adapted and a 24mm.
Fujifilm XT1, Fujfilm XT2, 18mm f2, GFX 50r with 45mm f2.8. He also used an X100F.
Nikon D700 with 24-70mm f2.8