They seem so similar, what exactly is the big deal with coming out with a new model?
Does anyone own both? Personal experience would be great.
It's looking like that the biggest difference is the updated 18-55 kit lens - from the early reviews and comments, it's a non-trivial upgrade over the older EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens, in all of optical quality, usability with filters (due to the non-rotating front element) and the advantages the STM gives for video shooters. Given that a significant fraction of buyers of entry-level DSLRs will be buying it with the kit lens, having a better lens is actually an important upgrade.
The other point to note is that the T4i/650D got significant bad press due to the well-documented issues with its grip. By moving to the T5i/700D moniker, Canon ensure that people searching for reviews and the like of the camera are much less likely to see any of that.
The differences are so minor many review sites are basically copy/pasting their T4i reviews, replacing the pictures, and editing the differences if they're posting reviews of the T5i at all. The new STM kit lens is probably the most significant change, especially for those shooting video as well as stills.
Here is a list of changes/upgrades in the Rebel T5i from the Rebel T4i:
New Finish 360° Rotation Mode Dial Larger and Raised Icons on the Mode Dial Addition of Scene Mode Real-time preview of creative filters in Live View New 18-55mm STM Kit Lens Slight Weight Increase (20.5 vs. 18.3 oz) **
** According to Canon's spec sheets the T4i is 18.3 oz. without battery and the T5i is 18.5.
With battery they are 20.3 and 20.5 oz. respectively. The quote from The-Digital-Picture appears to compare the T4i sans battery to the T5i with battery.
I don't have either, but this is pretty well covered by hands-on-previews like DPReview's. The differences are really minor and basically cosmetic.
Typically, Canon leaves older models on the market for a while to be a lower-level option, but in this case they are apparently replacing the T4i with the T5i and leaving the T3i.
Why make a new model? Eh; people like to buy new things, and "fresh" cameras get more attention, and so if you have the resources to do it, it's not a terrible marketing strategy. It's really more like T4i mk ii (if even that), but model number don't really have to make sense.
I recently purchased a T4i and looked very closely at the T5i next to it. As far as I could see the bodies were identical. So I don't know what this talk about a new finish is. The rotation mode dial was different in that it spun 360. It was also missing the 'night scene' mode and the 'hdr' mode. I guess I missed the addition of scene mode mentioned above. I just saw the 2 that were missing. My Rebel T4i kit included the new 18-135 STM lens. So nothing new there either. My guess is they made the changes simply to get away from bad reviews on the grips turning white. Even though that issue was solved in the later model runs. I chose the T4i because I liked having the night mode and hdr mode on the dial. Also I got a great clearance deal.