I have a Kodak Easy Share and I didn't like the picture quality either. The close up setting(tulip) has a little square on the screen that turns either red or blue when you press the shutter halfway to focus. When it turns red, the picture is focused. Press the shutter button the rest of the way to take the picture. If it's blue, the picture is blurry. Release the button and try again. At least that was my experience. And you have to hold the camera very still, or it will be blurry. My main problem was dark pictures, even with the flash on, and camera delay. Camera delay doesn't go well with kids.
So I got myself a new Canon Digital Rebel XTi and I love, love, love it. I did still keep the Easy Share just for video clips.