You're a budding photographer and you're probably quite skilled already, but your current camera is holding you back. If you want finer control over your images, interchangeable lenses and a host of other pro features at a price that won't break the bank, it's time to upgrade to a consumer DSLR.
SLR-type cameras have been the professional standard for over 50 years - way before digital was invented - and if you're serious about photography nothing less will do. While the professional models can cost upwards of $4000, you can snag a consumer model with most of the same features for under $700.
Consumer DSLRs are always a safe bet for aspiring photographers, and it isn't just because of the price. Any lenses, external flashes or other accessories you buy will be compatible with the professional DSLR bodies, so you can invest in your gear collection without worrying about throwing it out when you upgrade again.
These cameras can be bulky compared to a point-and-shoot camera, but the boundless possibilities with a DSLR more than make up for the decreased portability.