>With a small subject and being fairly close to the subject >you will also have to deal with a limited Depth of Field, DOF. >
For my purposes, that's the idea. To me, this camera produces "soft" pictures, although, this past weekend they seemed to have sharpened up somewhat. What I am trying to do either prove that there's nothing wrong with the camera (by producing a picture in which the item that is supposed to be in focus is sharp) or that the focus is "off" because of a still subject which should be in focus isn't while something else is. So far, I've had no luck. I haven't been able to get a picture of a still subject in which any part of the picture was sharp. Even on test patterns that are supposed to show where the focus actually is, the whole thing seems soft when viewed full size. And I've tried to follow all the suggestions - solid tripod, weight hanging from center shaft of tripod, shutter speed equal to lens focul length.