Bob, don't be silly! I think that these photos are fantastic and really gives folks who are not able to be at the museum a chance to keep up with what's happening. Fuzzy photos or no photos? Please keep them coming! I would love to see more from some of the other departments, fuzzy or not!
The camera is a CANON A590IS. Not the greatest for many megapixels but always served its purpose as a handy point and shoot camera. When I noticed the bad fuzzies, I thought my shaking hands blurred the pics. Another member took some with young steady hands and no improvement. Still thanking camera movement was involved, I took a few test shots at much higher shutter speeds without much improvement. As far as I can tell AutoFocus is on, green frames displayed showing where the camera is trying to focus. I noticed some small foreground areas are in better focus so maybe the next step is to force the camera to use a higher f step, more depth of field. But still not knowing if I manage to find that menu, will the last value remain in place or do I have dance through the option buttons for every pic? It used to work ok.
That CANON A590IS is supposed to be a top notch camera. Consider that it may be broken.
There's 3 focus modes with that camera: "The first one is Face Detect, a feature which you'll find on nearly all cameras in 2008. The camera will detect up to nine faces in the frame, making sure that the exposure and white balance is correct for each. Canon's face detection system is one of the best out there -- it easily found all six faces in our test scenes. The other focus modes include AiAF (9-point) and center-point.
The AF-point zoom feature, new to Canon cameras this year, does just as its name implies. In face detection mode, it digitally enlarges the "main" subject (presumably so you can make sure they're smiling), while in center-point mode it enlarges the middle of the frame." (pasted from this website: http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/canon/powershot_a590-review/)
At this point, I suggest trying some shots with the center-point focus mode selected.
I am working on it and you should see some improvement after my next shop visit. I have gone through the AF options more than once. Maybe this camera is just too smart for me. Thanks to all for the suggestions.
Bob, On most of the pics in this post, I see the bottom appears to be clearer than the middle to top which is blurry. I'm wondering if a lens is out of alignment or something, its odd that all of them only have the blurriness towards the top half in the same way and place. I don't think its a configuration problem at all.
Looking at "yet more windows" and "new ceiling", one with and one without flash, the EXIF data shows both were taken at 1/60th second, which should be fast enough to be sharp if the camera isn't in motion. (A little faster wouldn't hurt though, if light levels permit.) Possibly a sensor is out of whack, if it's not the lense as mentioned above. Does it take sharp photos outdoors on a sunny day at fully automatic settings? Or, as a Hail Mary, (and not kidding) is there a giant fingerprint or the like on the lens?
Yes, I have looked at all that and more. Outdoor shots taken earlier this week were almost OK but still 'soft'. Some of the pics this week were forced to f8 for more depth of field, for example. The autofocus just does not seem to be aimed or working with the frames indicated in the viewfinder. Canon has little to offer in the way of a remedy. So it looks like this camera is toast. In an ideal world I would purchase another Power Shot 590 but that is no longer offered. So I am looking at options for something that is close, familiar, compatible with memory cards, batteries, ac adapter, etc.
Thanks to everyone who has been trying to help.