The problem of soft photos usually have to deal with focusing problems. Are the shots in lower light? The ZS3 is considered one of the best point and shoots out there. I know of many cameras that don't do well with focusing indoors because there isn't much contrast to get the focus just right. Some cameras use a pre-flash or a red assist light in getting the focus correct. The only other thing I could think of is did you accidentally turn on macro mode?
for Christmas, I received the Pnasonic Lumix DMc-ZS3. I have it set on auto focus. and the photos seem to have a soft focus to them. I am trying to decide if I want to keep this camera or if there is one out there with much sharper images. Or If you have this camera is there some way I can change the setting for sharper images?