Ben Brooks wants to save you money and make you a better photographer at the same time:
A great photo isn’t made by the camera.
The reason you love photography on your iPhone so very much is because Apple has made it damned easy to get a pretty solid picture each time. And the reason that you loathe picking up that dSLR is because Canon has done a lot to give you full control of everything.
Well said. This isn’t coming from a place of elitism; cheap SLRs are just generally crappier than non-SLR cameras in the same price bracket, and they’re far harder to use.
But there’s a fair counter to Brooks’ argument if you want to take way better pictures and you have a little bit of money to experiment. Does that sound like you? Try picking up something like a Sony NEX model (affiliate link — you never know). It has interchangeable lenses, like an SLR, but it does a lot of background processing, like a smartphone. It does have a bajillion modes that are part of a learning curve, but you can stick it in full manual and experiment with all of the settings at will. Or you can leave it in one of the automatic modes and get some pretty great pictures as long as you’re pointing it in the general direction of what you want to capture.
Just remember Brooks’ sage advice: “a great photo isn’t made by the camera.” It’s a tool, and it’s only as good as its operator.