I made the recent decision to upgrade my workhorse camera which led to the subsequent, and unexpected, decision to sell my very first DSLR. And without realising it at the time, it was by far a more meaningful occasion than I had anticipated.
The reality is that I don't need three DSLRs; I now have my new primary work camera and a back-up. Keeping hold of my D40 - a camera I admittedly haven't used in years - would have been for purely sentimental reasons. So I put it up for sale along with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm kit lenses, threw in the obligatory UV filter, and within 48 hours it was sold to a complete stranger. Gone.
I had cash in my pocket, which will inevitably be put towards more equipment, but afterwards I couldn't help but feel a little pang of regret.
After all, the D40 was the camera that got me into photography in the first place. I took my first ever shots with that camera and those lenses. Being a self-taught photographer, the D40 was instrumental in educating me: clear, forgiving, and accessible - all the traits you want when grappling with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
That camera has been to different parts of the world with me. I took my first headshots with it. Used it on my first ever job. When I look at it now it seems so unbelievably basic but at the time it was a little box of technical wizardry. The 18-55mm was a quality piece of glass and continues to hold its own against today's kit lenses. Likewise, the 55-200mm was excellent for the price and I've realised that I'll miss having a lightweight telephoto zoom for travel.
It's a funny thing: you associate memories and sentiment with the photographs you take, not the equipment that produces them. I doubt I will feel this sentimental about any other DSLRs I sell in the future; I view them now as very much tools for a job. But the D40 wasn't a tool - it was a teacher, and a damn good one. And just like your school days, you never forget the best teachers.