The Panasonic LX5 and Canon S95 are good choices.
If you are thinking of the Nikon S8000, you will probably tire of it quickly.
It does not have manual controls and has 14.2 megapixels.
14.2 megapixels produce too much noise, due to crowding too many pixels on a small sensor assembly.
The S8100 will likely be a better choice, but still no manual controls.
I already have a DSLR & need something smaller to carry around.
Compact (smaller than DSLR)
FAST - very little lag time
Under $500 prefer
I want this for kids & babies & pets and vacation and daytime and nighttime & pocket/purse convenience.
I've considered the Panasonic LX5, new (Nikon?)8000?, Canon S95 but am open to anything that will meet my needs.
THANKS for your help - it's sincerely appreciated!