Printing and sensor size and other criteria


Last night I printed a number of pictures for a family presentation in my son's kindergarten class. They came from a number of cameras, including the E-P3, GRD3, GXR/A12 and XZ-1. It seemed to me that even though the pictures looked similar on screen, they printed quite differently.

Now, this is not scientific, and the images were not "processed" for printing (though they had been PP); I simply opened them up and printed them (Epson 3880 on high-end Epson luster paper; calibrated monitor; all color except for one picture). But universally, the pictures from the XZ-1 were flat - the dynamic range limitations really came through. The E-P3 pictures were much better (very beautiful in their own way), but in comparison to the GXR/A12 they also looked a bit flat, lacking in dynamic range. The GXR/A12 pictures were simply gorgeous, and to these eyes had the most accurate color. Oddly, the GRD3 had great color and also good apparent dynamic range; not the GXR/A12, but not too far behind.

I know that a number of factors can effect printing, but I'm wondering if sensor size and dynamic range plays an important role in how the final print turns out. I intend to print a lot more and study how this pans out.

What are others finding as far as how their various cameras print?

BTW the other day I bought a couple of large pieces of black foamboard and I've been printing and pinning sets of pictures on them to evaluate the prints (all B&W) and determine which ones work well together as projects. I've only just started, but this is proving to be a valuable exercise. I find looking at and judging the prints much more effective than viewing and judging on screen. And interestingly, there are far fewer pictures I'm willing to print than show online. I guess that when committing to print it gets more serious and I get more critical.