It seems to me that no matter what I do with my footage, bracketing focus on a high detail area, then getting it as close as I can with the small monitor, the HVX shoots soft. I've even shot test footage racking it back and forth and the footage never achieves a crisp image. Am I doing something wrong or should I start suspecting the lens?
That's a great question, a computer monitor. My experience with the shots being soft has been on Final Cut Pro and Avid, whereas Premiere looks nice and sharp. Go figure. I loaded it into premiere and it looks fine.
As you have discovered, you really can't make any judgment calls on the sharpness of the footage based on the NLE's on-screen viewer. You need to output to a broadcast monitor or, at the very least, a TV.