There are many things that determines sharpness. But you should distinguish between a soft image and a blurry image. A soft image is well focused but some manufacturers (including Nikon) set the processing engine of the camera to a lower sharpness level, usually to preserve detail and avoid artifacts, as the person above pointed out. Over sharpening can introduce artifacts and lose details. You can go into the camera manual to increase the sharpness or you can sharpen the image with Photoshop. A blurry image is a messed-up shot, either due to focusing problem or motion blurriness from the subject or the shaky hand of the photographer.
Focus problem can be due to not enough light for the autofocus system to work, or due to selection of a shallow depth of field and the camera focusing on the wrong spot (eg. focusing on the trash can in front of you instead of your face). Motion blurriness often is due to not enough light, so the camera is forced to use a slower shutter speed to increase exposure time, resulting in motion blurriness from a fast moving object or natural shakiness of the hands of the photographer. Usually you need at least 1/250 shutter speed to freeze slow motion and faster speed to freeze faster motion. In low light, the shutter speed is usually slowed down significantly and result in blurry motion. The ability to get a sharp image holding your camera without a tripod usually requires a shutter speed no less than 1/focal length. So if you do a 4x zoom, which is probably about 200mm, you will need a shutter speed faster than 1/200 to avoid blurriness from your own hand. A superzoom with wide angle can zoom out beyond 600mm, so will need shutter speed faster than 1/600 to avoid blurriness. Therefore zooming out the lens will be more likely to get blurry photo, especially when lighting is suboptimal.
So how can one increase the chance to get a sharper photo? You can use a fast lens if you have a D-SLR but you will have to deal with the focusing problem with a shallow depth of field. Or you can boost up the ISO to increase the sensor sensitivity, so that you can get a faster shutter speed and a better auto-focusing performance. But PS camera has poor ISO performance and cannot change to a fast lens, so for a long time, PS camera has poor low light performance, resulting in many disappointing blurry photos. Using flash is another trick to get a sharp low light image, but PS camera's flash is small and reach only a short distance. If you use flash for farther objects, then it will not help as much (or not at all if you use flash for distant object).
So why is the Fuji camera look better than the Nikon? A big part of the reason is that Fuji cameras have a special unique super CCD sensor that has octagonal shaped photosites which contain 2 photodiodes at each photosite. This design helps to give better low light high ISO performance, can freeze action better and avoid handheld blurriness better especially in lower light situation. This gives you better chance to get sharper images. Here is a more detailed explanation of the super CCD design:
So the sensor does have a lot to do with getting a sharper image, but it is not the only reason. You still have to choose the right aperture, the right focus point, and try to limit the amount of zooming.
Technically speaking, using automatic mode is the worst way to test and compare camera sharpness, because different camera may choose different settings. You may be comparing apples with oranges. You should use manual mode to put in the same settings for each camera for comparison, and make sure each camera is at the same zoom level. However, if you always use automatic mode, then using the automatic mode to test the cameras will be a practical test to tell you which camera in real life suits your actual shooting style and need better.
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