I've never heard this philosophy applied to the W1. i usually hear about this associated with the 828 and higher end cameras. the (-) setting is usually used to reduce the amount of noise that the image will have straight from the cam. the principle applies to the W1, also (i just never hear it talked about). if you want images that possess the least amount of noise, use (-). but be warned, you will need to sharpen after the fact in an imaging program. this will lead to softer photos. however, when a camera applies sharpening, it is also applying it to the noise and not just fine detail. this means that the noise is emphasized. In windows, right click on the image. go to properties. then click the summary tab, then the advanced button. the data that you will see is known as EXIF data, and details all the settings your camera used to capture the image. if you are after the sharpness parameter, windows by default will not do this. you will need a third party viewer that can read exif. my personal favorite is Irfanview. you need to download the plugins in order to view exif. once you have installed the program and the plugins, open an image. press 'I' and then press 'E'. scroll to the bottom, and there is your sharpness setting.
I've owned the W1 for a while now and tried what was mentioned here about sharpness (-) according to some , and (+) according to others :) Well (IMO) the best setting is (normal) , unless there's something real strange in the surroundings that causes the noise supression to lessen the details .. in these conditions putting sharpness + helps a bit , but again If you do this later on any post processing program like PS you'll get better results. The mistake that I learned not to make though is using sharpness + and ISO 400 , the amount of noise was sooooo bad As for using P , yes this is true after using the W1 for a few days you'll find yourself using P most of the time and M on occasions . The reason is simple. Auto does not give you any flexibility in the Menu not even CF , or WB which have a tremendous effect on the quality of the pic. You can download any free software like Irfan view http://www.IrfanView.com and you'll find the option to read the Exif file of the pic. (where the camera settings are kept).
I think I read somewhere that pictures came out too soft and therefore sharpness should be set to +. You need to use an image viewing application that can show the photo's EXIF data.
Usually answered in minutes!