As I have said before, they may be able to achieve supreme sharpness with $13,000 super telephoto lenses
Oh please. jrista's point about Canon updating their lenses is well taken. But there are plenty of lenses which can produce tack sharp results on crop without a $13k price tag. Canon is updating cheaper lenses as well. As sharp as I thought my 70-200 f/4L was, the 70-200 f/4L IS takes it up a notch, just like jrista's experience with mark II L super telephotos. And it's not $13k.
But when it comes time to shoot a wide angle image with a 24 MP or higher crop sensor, good luck ever getting sharpness on the level that you could from the same pixel count via a full frame sensor and lens, taking in the same angle of view Never going to happen...not ever.
Except that it already happens with Sony/Nikon 24 MP sensors, top notch glass, and a little USM.
We'll never see a wide angle zoom rectilinear lens, that goes to 10mm for a crop sensor camera, that will be sharp to the corners wide open, with no CA, and zero "decentering"...and somehow rival the best 14 or 15 mm wide angle full frame zoom. Not going to happen.
I'll gladly pit a Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 (good sample) against a Canon 16-35 f/2.8 (good sample).
You keep using that word 'never'. I don't think it means what you think it means
For people who think crop will 'never' do this or 'never' do that, you better spend some time looking at the world of biology. Because eyeballs, both human and animal, routinely do things that you say much larger crop sensors should 'never' be able to do. If our eyes do it, then it's physically possible, and you're a fool to bet against the march of technology and Moore's Law when it comes to the physically possible.
When DSLRs first hit the scene I heard repeatedly that a DSLR would 'never' out resolve 35mm film (happened at 12-15 MP); 'never' produce large prints that could rival MF film (happened with the 5D2, and then the 16/18 MP generation of crop sensors); and 'never' have DR like neg film (today's FF has more DR then all but a couple emulsions). When the 5D was popular I heard that crop would 'never' out resolve it or have better noise (again, happened with the 16/18 crop generation).
Unless a manufacturing break through renders crop obsolete by making FF just as cheap to build (doubtful, but never say never), we will see crop bodies in the future that out perform today's D800. And we will see even smaller sensors in P&S super zooms that rival today's DSLRs. Not if. When. I guarantee you that designers will exploit every advantage they can get as time goes on, including lenses that change shape, liquid lenses that can alter their characteristics like an LCD can alter its display, super dense sensors, custom in camera processors that put today's best graphics cards to shame, etc, etc. We may even see biologically grown sensors, at which point MF might be as cheap as today's Rebels, shattering another 'never'.
So tell me again what's 'never' going to happen. It amuses me.