The camera is annoying in general in this game. Yes, I do use the manual lock-on all of the time, but that does not help when your back's against the wall in half of the fights you encounter and/or objects are in the way. I think you just learn to deal with it though, dodge a lot and take any open opportunities you can find to tear things up.
On a side note, I finally 100% the game on expert mode (except for the one red trinity that is impossible to go back and get in Halloween Town, sigh) - getting the last ship blue print was the hardest part, but I can finally move on and replay other games!
I reset anytime I died, so my end game "chart" shows zero defeats, I'm such a loser, lol.