@ Rocky : + 1
If nothing else this thread has shown many people don't realise that digital enlargement is all down to the number of pixels on the sensor, and not the physical dimensions of the sensor "format", unlike film format.
enlargement only takes into account the number of MP. But that argument is conveniently missing out many significant parts of the overall image capture process.
Light, and the scene captured by the lens/camera are analogue. The resulting print (unless its a particularly low res digital print) does its best to look analogue. And similarly speaking, with a good enough display (such as a retina display), its again a good approximation of analogue - and both print and display have light coming off them (reflected or lit) which is analogue, which is how your eyes can see it. With a digital camera, the in between bits of the process are a combination of analogue and digital. It starts off with a lens which is very much analogue. That creates an analogue imaging circle. That in turn is captured by an analogue sensor, which generates analogue electrical signals, fed through analogue amplifiers, before finally getting converted to digital. Only after all that is the RAW file or JPG created and stored. Then its transferred to a computer, possibly had PP done on it, before finally leaving the digital domain when it gets put into some sort of approximation of analogue so we can see it.
By talking about one stage of that process from half way through (the captured MP), and then talking about how magnifying that is the only thing which matters is missing out half the picture.
Comparing two similar sized sensors results in quite similar results, so comparing APS-C to FF is not so clear cut to visualise which is best. So to prove a point, lets compare a much smaller 18MP sensor such as the Panasonic ZS30 to a full frame 18MP sensor such as the 1D X. Printing both images at the same size has exactly the same digital
enlargement, but the tiny sensored Panasonic compact analogue
image will have been enlarged much more. And I can't imagine anyone trying to pretend that a 1D X, even with the same effective focal length, aperture and ISO will produce images when printed large that could be mistaken for ones taken with the Panasonic. The only way the two could ever look comparable is if their pictures are printed almost postage stamp small - that way the Panasonic analogue image has been enlarged by a more sensible amount, hiding its faults much better.
If we are talking about a purely digital image with no noise, diffraction, lens softness etc. such as CGI, then yes, MP is king. After all, enlarging can only be an enlargement of each pixel, and we don't want to enlarge it to the point where it looks pixelated. But digital photos are not perfect digital files. They are merely digital representation of an analogue capture of the scene. Enlargement of the sensor is the key factor to quality, not enlargement of each subdivision of one stage of the process.