I’m not a serious photographer, but I strongly endorse having a proper camera. Ever want to take a picture of a castle in the distance only to have your point-and-shoot, or worse, cameraphone, focus in on the garish and embarrassing fanny-packed American tourists in the foreground, leaving your precious castle a blurry mess? I have. It sucks.
This can all be fixed with a little something called MANUAL FOCUS. While you don’t need an SLR, let alone a Canon DSLR to have manual focus, you typically need something more expensive than your $150 quicky-clicky contraption. Over here, we don’t stand by the belief that expensive is necessarily better, but we are strong supporters of buying legit stuff that works really well and will last, and just sometimes that costs more.
That being said, unless you’re still stuck in the twentieth century (or indeed the nineteenth, as some of my friends are) or miserably broke, your phone probably has a decent enough camera on it for casual snaps. Did your friend not believe you and then take the Cinnamon Challenge, and then fail spectacularly, coughing clouds of cinnamon up into the air for the next ten minutes?* By all means, use your phone to record the hilarity.
But sometimes you want really outstanding pictures, and a phone isn’t really sufficient, even it’s one of those newfangled 8 Megapixel ones. While a point and shoot camera can take great pictures, your chances of photographic awesomeness are higher with a camera over which you have complete control of every aspect, such as a DSLR. Canon is unquestionably the market leader, and I have one of their T1i models, and although it’s “entry-level” it’s Killer Stuff compared to my Canon point-and-shoot. Nowadays, models such as that can be had used for around $500, and less on Craigslist, which in my book is a valuable investment. Given the state of phones today, you can probably forget the point-and-shoot and just stick to your phone for quick snaps and your SLR for everything else.
* This happened a few days ago and was brilliantly amusing. I recommend you convince your more easily-convincible friends to try it, and then enjoy about half an hour of solid laughter.