@David "While we are on the topic, the physical size of the sensor has many implications. Picture quality usually isn't one them. Ultimately, historically, the smaller sensors, since they usually are made in the newest processes with the newest tooling end up being the best."
Wait, WHAT? No, that's wrong.
Sensors are typically judged based on factors such as color depth, dynamic range, and ISO performance (high signal-to-noise ratio in low light). The sensors with the best of these tend to be found in full-frame cameras (from Nikon & Canon.) Probably a major contributing factor is that the physical size of each individual pixel is larger and a larger pixel collects more photons (thus more sensitive in low light). This becomes really obvious when you shop for astronomical imaging CCDs... where you pay dearly for the sensors that have chips with the largest pixels sizes but astronomers absolutely want top-notch high-sensitive in low-light with lowest possible noise (because otherwise "noise" starts to look like background stars.)
Pixel count is based on the old megapixel war. That was a big deal back when digital cameras were shooting 640x480 size images. But now that it's hard to find a camera with just a few megapixels, pixel count is no longer the determining factor in image quality unless you plan to print REALLY REALLY big. Though Canon has a few DSLR bodies optimized for sports use that have 16 & 18 megapixel sensors, the Nikon guys are still using 12 megapixel sensors on their sports bodies and, frankly, don't seem to be suffering from the "lower" megapixel count. Pixel count hasn't mattered in quite a while.
Based on DxOMark scores, Olympus cameras tend to score in the mid 50's ... and oddly enough, they've pretty much just stayed there over the years (newer Olympus models aren't providing sensors that produce better scores... actually the most recent models are fractionally worse than some of the older models.) MOST of the pack score better than Olympus... the best cameras available from Nikon and Canon are scoring up in the 80's. The highest scoring sensor ever is in the Phase One IQ180 -- it got a DxOMark score of 91 points (btw it has a HUGE sensor and it costs about $48,000).
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