You can take basic pictures with a smartphone, but a DSLR camera is equipped with a higher quality sensor and offers you full control over key settings.
Figure 1: Basic Photography Workflow
Focus (Manual, Auto)
ISO (Light Sensitivity)
Lighting and Background
This is one of the areas in photography that I find people struggling with most. It's no surprise since it is relatively easy to buy a good quality crop-frame or full-frame DSLR camera from a reputable company. In comparison, light control and scene creation are full of wild, unclear options even before you have some hardware to work with.
First of all, absolutely avoid spending money prematurely on equipment that is too bulky, heavy, fragile, specialized, and inconvenient to use.