Like you, i was so tickled with the results of my Fuji"P & S digicam", i invested inCanon's 350d <Rebel xt> and have been unable to acquire quality shots. Did you get back any helpful info that you'd like to pass on?
Err... Yes and no. First off, thank you to Jim once again forhis detailed replies. To fill you in on what's been going on....
Having jumped in 'feet first' with my purchase, i now have a much greater understanding of what's going on. I have gathered, from my experiences and reading the forums, that, the DSLR pictures may require lots more user processing to get the pictures that i want; dust is a serious problem with most DSLR's; greater time is needed to compose the shot; and point and shoots lack the ability to post-process.
First off... My 350D was terrible. It was faulty from the box, and eventually exchanged. This cured many problems i detailed above (i was trying hard thus couldn't understand the results!) The camera, alledgedly, had a faulty sensor and focus system according to the shop, once they had examined it.
However, it's replacement still wouldn't offer shots (of what i want to take pictures of) as good as the P and S Sony T9 (both cams on a tripod side by side). The T9 still produced a more pleasing shot, straight from the camera. This is really what i'm after as i don't have time to process lots of shots myself. HOWEVER, i do realise this is the T9's (and other PandS's) limitations - they process for you so hardly anything else can be done. When the two identical shots i just talked about above were processed in Photoshop... bingo! The 350D shot was miles and miles better than the T9 shot. I could really work (lie, someone done it for me...) the 350D shot, whereas doing the exact same processes to the T9 shot achieved very little.
Dirt on the sensor was extremely annoying - and showed up clearly on blue skies - a problem i have discussed with other 350D owners who suffer from the same thing.
Still, original problems remained - the camera liked shooting from a tripod, which is not practical for me, and i struggled to get shots i was pleased with...
Enter... The Sony R1. Looks and functions like a DSLR, but it isn't. I know i don't have the ability to change the lens, but the standard range of 24-120 is more than what i need, so no worries there.
I'm not saying the R1 is a better camera than the 350D, but for my own personal needs, it is, hands down. It gives me excellent shots straight from the camera, and is happy to shoot hand held at low shutter speeds. As well as giving excellent shots with minimum hassle, it has exactly the same post-processing capabilities as the 350D - photoshop worked the pictures at least as much as the 350D shots.
As i'm used to a Sony, the buttons and menus are all logical to me, and the camera feels solid and well made. I'm really pleased with the performance, it's exactly what i'm after, and it shoots (to me) the same way as a DSLR - all the functions are identical to the 350D. As a point to note - i wear eyeglasses, and was worried about using the 350D's VF, as i used to hate using these on 35mm cams, and my first digital, with an LCD, was bliss. My worries were founded - i hated using the VF, and struggled to see my composition clearly. It's a personal joy to have an LCD back on the R1 as well as a VF - which incidently, i find much larger and easier to use than the 350D one... The fixed lens means no dust issues, thus clear blue skies too.
I seem to have much greater control over the R1's shots than the 350D's - i can now control the DOF much better than i could on the 350D, using the same settings, and everything seems to have a greater effect and function (although to be fair, i think a lot of this is down to the faults my original 350D had, rather than all 350D's). What i'm getting at is that, to me, with what i want to take pictures of, the R1 is what i hoped the 350D was going to be but wasn't. Zoomed in at huge levels, the R1's shots have slightly more noise than the 350D's shots, but looking at the shots normally it's not noticable at all, and is cancelled out by the R1 taking hand held shots where the 350D wanted an ultra slow shutter and a tripod. I would personally rather have the ability to take a slightly noisy hand held shot, than not have this ability and require a tripod.
So... I am selling the 350D, and will be sticking to the R1 for now, as it's giving me exactly what i want. I may add a 400D to my collection in the new year. I'm slightly put off by the cost though, as according to some reviews (and my experience), the 350/400D will need an expensive lens to equal the Zeiss lens on the R1, pushing the price for body and lens right up. I shall see how i feel i guess...!