When good cameras go bad

“Fuzzy” is a word that should only ever be applied to felt.  Ignoring the colour, can you spot the difference between the two images below?  They are scaled down, but if you click on them you should get a larger version of each.


Obviously, the one on the left is out of focus.  Both photos were taken of the same target, at the same distance.  The sharp one one is taken with my wife’s Canon Ixus 105, and the fuzzy one with my Panasonic Lumix TZ7.  For some reason, my camera has decided to stop taking clear photos and has taken it upon itself to do everything in soft focus.  It’s impossible to see this in the (relatively low resolution) viewfinder, but it’s obvious when you look a the full size image.  I’ve tried every setting on the camera, and every factory reset possible.  The lens is clean, and nothing seems to be jammed or problematic.  The thing simply won’t take sharp pictures.  Just to add insult to injury, here’s the same picture taken with my phone camera (using the phone’s built in ‘flash’, which causes the horrible reflection):


The upshot is that I am no longer able to take pictures with my camera which are good enough to post here.  This is irritating, because I’ve got progress on the printer which is just dying to be documented.  I guess I’ll just have to buy a new camera.