Actually, I have found out you can compose and then select and hold the place you want to focus, and I believe set the exposure for that area as well if your metering is set on spot. I'm not sure of this last, but the following not only ensures your main object is in sharp focus nomatter where they are in the composition and how far the objects in the center of the screen are, this also enables you to have some control of depth of field, you can compose, pick an object that you want to be in focus, and make it stand out by blurring the background. The fact that the fixed aperture is 2.8 helps, but don't expect SLR results. Just lightly press the screen at the spot you want the camera to focus, and a white square turning to green will appear on that spot briefly. Then press and hold the shutter icon, and the square will reappear on that spot, and not in the center of the screen, and show it is refocused there by going green. Then release the shutter icon and it will take the picture focusing on that spot.
Great camera! The "scene selections" always give me a better picture in difficult situations than I can achieve by fooling around with ISO, white balance, flash on/off myself.