Would the AX-33 be a good camera to shoot a feature on? Asking for a friend.
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Wow, just checked it out. Everyone who has one seems to like it, however you could probably do just as well with the latest IPhone. There are quit a few features that were purchased for distribution and they were shoot with the IPhone. The advantage is it's a little less and it's a phone, it's a twofer. As a filmmaker it has many of the features of a DSLR, the only downside I see to the Sony AX-33 is the audio plugin. If you plan to shoot series videography with it, sound recording, lens and filter attachments is going to be an issue. Back in the day I had cameras with the old RCA style phono jacks, (I still have the mikes) they work great for a while and then after some heavy use they start crackling and hissing. And once your camera starts doing that, it's over for remote sound recording. This camera has great specs, even if you can't attach lenses to it, it's digital zoom and I think if you keep your finger off the zoom button (I see it all the time with newbie's) you can achieve some really good quality photography. With this type of camera, you'll need to plan your shoots with more detail and if you must do a CU for heaven's sake, close that scene, move the camera in and shoot. Think of it this way, you should only use two types of lenses, the wide angle for close in areas and CU's and the 35mm for everything else. It makes for a much better pro looking shoot. I hope this helps. I look forward to seeing your work.
It depends on what you want your movie to look like. Check out "Tangerine" or "The Puffy Chair". Is that the kind of movie your friend is making? For that kind of Documentary/Cinema Verite style or even found footage (Cloverfield), this camera works. But if he's going for a more traditional cinematic look I would suggest in that budget range get a used Canon 5D, 7D, T2i, T3i, etc. And like 2 decent PRIME lenses, like Ric suggested a wide (somewhere between 18-35) and a tighter (either 50 or 85) with f stops down to 2.8 at least.