Any suggestions as to what I can do, if anything, to improve clarity using using this type of camera, greatly appreciated. (I've even set camera on auto/easy and let the electronics determine best setting for the scene and just shoot).
Resizing photos can sometimes leave them a bit soft. I don't use Picasa but here are a couple of things that may help:
1. If you have a choice of resizing algorithms, use the highest-quality choice. There may also be a "resize sharpen" option.
2. To sharpen after resizing, look for an option called "Sharpen", Resharpen", or "Unsharp Mask". Apply using the default settings first. If it doesn't look right play around with the settings.
Hope that helps a bit.