And noise reduction software is dramatically better at removing noise and preserving detail than block averaging is. Plus, smaller pixels mean a higher-corner-frequency AA filter. Both effects mean that the smaller pixels give you lower noise and better resolving power in the same light and exposure.
Noise reduction software applies to all images, regardless of pixel size.
And it works way better when there is more detail in the original.
You can't bring software into the hardware equation here.
Sure I can. The entire process, from optics to processing, works together to produce the final image.
Sensors are hardware. From a hardware standpoint, smaller pixels/bigger pixels, so long as the total sensor area is the same, it really doesn't matter.
Then why not have just one enormous pixel?
As for the pixels. I've never said they are bad. Small pixels out-RESOLVE large pixels, they do not necessarily out-PERFORM large pixels.
Not necessarily, but usually.
But small pixels can only out-resolve large pixels in certain circumstances.
Virtually every circumstance.
Smaller pixels will always outresolve larger pixels, but they do not normally outperform larger pixels. The only case where smaller pixels might literally outperform larger pixels is if the smaller pixels had considerably better technology than the larger pixels.
Pixel performance is a fairly complex thing. I challenge you to pit G15 sports, wildlife, and bird photos against the same kinds of photos from the 1D X.
The 1DX will win because of a bigger sensor and bigger optics, not because of larger pixels. If it had the G15's pixels, it would do even better.