The HX90V uses the same size sensor but it uses CMOS instead of CCD technology.
There is little low light advantage in the change , but a big jump in speed (shots per second).
It has 18 megapixels as opposed to 12 on the W320. Strangely enough the 18 MP HX90V is lower than the previous models, which had 20MP.
More mega pixels is not a good thing on same size small sensors, since they have to make the pixels smaller to get that many on the sensor. Smaller sensors equals less light.
The HX90V does have a higher ISO setting (12800 as opposed to 3200 for the W320.
Two steps brighter, but higher ISO settings usually means more noise in the picture.
The HX90V has a 30X zoom as opposed to 4X. But zoom and low light do not go together.
It is not that they can't build a bright zoom lens, it raises the cost so much there would be fewer buyers that could or would pay the increase in cost.
The W320 has a 28 - 42 mm F/3 - F/5.8 lens
The HX90V has a 24 - 720 mm F/3.5 - F/6-4 lens.
The lower the F number, the brighter the lens.
The further you zoom, the dimmer the lens becomes.
Just from the specifications, I would think the W320 has the advantage for quality low light pictures.
There are a few small cameras with bigger sensors and larger diameter bright lenses.
The Canon S series and G series cameras
The Nikon P330 & higher series
The Panasonic LX series
Those cameras perform better in low light.
But do not have much zoom.
We currently use a point and shoot Sony W320. Simple camera that meets most of our needs. Bought in 2005. I decided I wanted to upgrade my camera - have read tons of reviews/forums/etc. One of the camera improvements that I hope for is better low light performance. I know that sensor size is very important for this concern. But I wondered - there are several (Sony HX90V) cameras out there that look like great all-around options that I would like to consider. BUT, they have the same sensor size as my older W320 (size = 1/2.3). Has Sony improved the light sensitivity of today's 1/2.3 sensor over the 10 year old 1/2.3 sensor? Or do I need to throw out camera options with this sensor size if low light concerns me.
My W320 sometimes really struggles to focus in indoor low light - leading to annoyed family members - and sometimes blurriness - or missed smiles since people can only hold a smile for so long.
For improved low light I would consider the Sony RX100 ii - but I would love the zoom (30x) of the HX90v.
Both pocket sized. I have older SLR already if needed.
Will I find the low light capability of a new HX90v better than the old W320 since they have the same sensor size?