I currently have a Canon PS A95 (which don't seem to be on the market in Europe anymore ???). I really love photography and would like to take a few courses and start taking things a little more seriously. I am thinking about buying a Canon EOS 350D but just don't know enough about photography to make an informed decision. Will this camera do as a stepping stone to professional photography? Should I wait until after a course to buy a new camera? Also, what is the best course to do? I am clueless!
The Canon A95 looks like a great camera to use while you take some course(s) and educate yourself otherwise. In the meantime, use your A95 and apply what you learn. Without better understanding what digital cameras can do for you and what you want to get out of photography, buying another camera now could easily be a disappointment and a waste of money. Until you understand how the A95 might limit what you want to do, it just doesn't make sense to buy anything else.
Find classes to take at a local community college and/or courses offered by digital gear dealers (some of those are free of charge!). Subscribe to a good photographic publication (for the US that might be Shutterbug, Popular Photography, etc.) and read those cover-to-cover.
And last but not least, when you have questions, post those on this and other forums, so you can pick the brains of others that have gone before you.
Seconding the first reply, I would just add that I think it's really helpful - and enjoyable - to balance what you're learning technically by exploring what great photographers have done in the past. You might have galleries near you, but you almost certainly can access a library with books of works by great photographers. You could look up works edited or written by John Szarkowski as a starting point and go from there. You might also get lucky and find an experienced photographer to mentor you.
Thank you! I have been buying Practical Photography and Digital Photo which are both UK based magazines. I'll keep working with my PSA95 for now - which is great as I do love it so very much!