If your images are too soft, chances are it is because your chosen shutter speeds are too slow.
A frequent complaint I see on the photography forums, is where the photographer say they used a shutter speed of 1/60th but still have blurry images. Somewhere along the way the urban legend seem to have arisen where 1/60th is that magic shutter speed where we will be assured of sharp images. But of course things are a little more complex than that.
There is a rule of thumb which has it that the inverse of your focal length should give Read more inside...
I would say that 90% of emails that I get where people are unhappy with their cameras, have to do with not understanding the basics of exposure metering. This also means they don't quite understand how shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings inter-relate.
"What general words of advice do you have for new photographers ?"
The first steps in getting to understand photography would be:
Know how to use your camera's light-meter more effectively.
Your camera's meter is accurate, but do need to be interpreted some times.
Get Read more inside...