So many of the photos I take are out of focus - is there a knack to using this camera? It is manily close-up that I have the problem with. I am about to reset the camera to factory settings, so I am sure I have not tweeked some button or other in error.
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If these are close up photos, the depth of field will be shallow. You need to raise the ISO to force the camera to close down the aperture and increase the depth of field. Also, the use of a tripod or monopod will greatly increase your chances of taking a sharp picture.
If you are taking close up photos, you might have to use the "macro" setting. The auto focus only works down to around 5 or 6 feet I think. I have an earlier model of that camera. I use mine for normal use and also close up for work related photos.
Your lens is the limiting factor to take macro photos, the kit lens provided with you camera won't focus very closely, nor it will have decent magnification. There are special purpose macro lenses which can stretch up to and over $1000 for a decent quality one. Tamron's 90mm f2.8 is probably the best value one.
A tripod will be of benefit too, as it slows down the process, so you think about your composition, use manual focus and a small aperture for better depth of focus (field).
Just returned from trip to Cuba..most photos taken outside and few inside...all photos were exc. or good except the ones I used with the telephoto feature. Had I left it on the W feature,these photos would have been ok...also make sure the focus ring lens adj. is not on the macro imaging feature..found that focus ring lens setting sometimes moved when I put the camera into its case