Keep the AF(auto focus) on, on the lens. Always look through the lens not the display. Always push the shoot button halfway down and look at what reference points lite up , That is where the real focus is. Moving the cam just a bit up or down, right to left, will change these. And wait for the "beep" to fully press and shoot. These are a real plus. When you get practiced, outdoor scenes will look awesome. Plus you can focus in on a subject and blur the background or vice versa. The camera is so talented you really have to read the manual/watch the DVD. Did you get this as a "bundle" It should have Photostitch with the software. It makes constructing panorama like this one I did a breeze.
Thats was 5 pictures I took turning a little for each one with an XSi. I shrank it for the Forum sake but it is 2847x646 pixels in it'* original size.
Until you read it all, just use AutoFocus (AF button on lens), and Full Auto for indoors, and flash off outdoors and you'll get good results.