I'm not familiar with that camera so I am wondering if you're using a filter after that's making your pictures grainy or if you have the camera set in a high ISO. Some look fine, but the first in particular looks more like a poor cell phone picture than anything (which is a shame because it's a nice picture).
The depth of field is nice in several of them. Be careful when you're editing because I can see pieces you missed on that first picture of the black horse. I loathe editing and very rarely do it, so I can't speak much more to that other than the little things I mentioned.
The iso I usually have it set at is 400 or 800. I must admit I don't really understand much it's usually a case of me playing about and hoping for the best! It's a horrible camera in poor lighting and I hate using a flash.
The ISO around there should do much, but I've only had a DSLR for several years and I'm used to not having grainy pictures like that unless I jack up my ISO to about 1600.
Playing around with cameras is the best way to figure them out! I got a Nikon D40 in 2009 after messing around with a friend's for a year. Within 15 minutes of owning my own, I found all of the in-camera editing tools that my friend, who had hers for 3 years, had no idea existed.
I like this one the best. It has a delicate lighting to it, and a pretty clean background (unlike the black horse which has an annoyingly cluttered background) . Color here is subtle and restful. Consider cropping the black edge on the left side.
I got a Nikon D5100 in June. I think they're something like $650 now. I think I only paid $400 for it with a new warranty warranty on my D40. The D40 was beyond obsolete..so I broke it. On purpose. (It was a heartbreaking experience..)
The finepix are ok for what you pay. They can take some really nice photos, but are really a step between point and shoot and prosumer. I started on a finepix, but have since graduated to my Canon 40D (I think that's what I have anyway lol). The problem with the finepix is the fixed lens - it is trying really hard to do the job of several different lenses, and while it can jack of all trades, it definitely is master of none.
Posiodon that's a great deal you got! I'm tempted to ask my family to all chip in for a decent camera for Christmas rather than everyone getting me separate gifts. Eugh christmas, there's a depressing thought haha!