I thought I'd compare pictures I took in Shanghai of the same landmarks, 6 years apart.
Jin Mao Tower, 2004 vs 2010:
The 2004 photo of the Jin Mao Tower was the first picture I took that made me go, "Hey! That actually looks like a nice photo!" I also like how it's actually in color, but it just looks kind of black and white. I was extra proud of the fact that I just snapped it out the window of my taxi on my way from the airport. :) My 2010 shot is pretty mediocre, but saved a bit by the post-processing. I had to manually remove the color this time because the haze made everything dreary otherwise.
Pearl of the Orient, 2004 vs 2010:
I really like the lucky timing of my 2004 shot, catching the tower just before I went into a tunnel, thus getting a double-exposure look on a single shot. The 2010 one lets you see some people walking around the observation deck, though, especially if you zoom in.
Shanghai cityscape and the Bund, 2004, another 2004, then 2010:
In this last case, I think there's no question that my 2010 camera did a better job than my 2004 camera, especially if you zoom in to take a closer look. Click the 2004 shots, and you'll see that dark parts lose all detail and are just pitch black.
So I guess the upshot is that sometimes having a fancy camera doesn't matter, but sometimes it does!