softness: me, glass, or camera?
What I notice is not so much the softness but how overexposed the images are, particularly the first two. You cannot rely soley on automatic modes (P, S, A) without recourse to exposure compensation and a frequent review of your histogram along with the highlight blinkie screen. When the sun is bright or the day is very gray, it is often a good idea to exclude the sky entirely. If I am shooting with a lot of sky in the frame, I will often spot meter and switch to manual so I can expose with those bright tones in mind. When you are shooting a scene with tons of dynamic range, that is when your auto mode will fail you. So, if you want to shoot something in the shade, keep the sun out. At least until you have more familiarity with your choices. An image that is properly exposed will have a better chance of having good contrast and retaining the sharpness you desire.