I have put sharpness and saturation to +1 in normal P-mode. Note that the motive oriented settings like Flower, Food, etc have their own settings, some of them also use centre weighted measurement instead of matrix. You can override them, but they will be back to default detting after power-off.
Another thing to consider is to keep an eye on the metering result. If the light is dimm, and you have set flash to NON, the camera will not warn you that 1/8s is the longest shutter time it will provide you. To have longer time, you must use Night Mode. The only "warning" you get is that the metering reult is displyed in red. The LCD display is bright enough to make you tink an underexposure picture was OK: check the histogram! I took a picture of the famous Neale Donald Walsch, the pic looked alright in the LCD. However, when displayed on my computer, I saw it was terribly under-exposed!!
The same about autofocus: you shall have a green spot indicating that focus was found, and where (if using the default 7-point system). Notice to switch to macro or super-macro if close to subject.
Another thing is generic for digicams: we are no more holding the camera close to the eye, using the hands below the camera to avoid camera shake: we are stretching the arms in front of us, making it much more difficult to avoid camera shake: take notice of that...