I have a friend in Kenya who is who is willing to shoot some documentary interviews for me overseas, but needs to purchase a camera. I cannot afford to travel myself, but I can afford to send him money to film while he is already over there and dropbox me the footage. I'm trying to figure out what kind I should suggest.
My friend is NOT a filmmaker, but these interviews are more about content than style, so an point and shoot that is easy to use is preferable. These interviews are going to be spliced into a film that is shot at 24p on the Canon 5D. Because the rest of the film takes place in America, I am okay with a difference in style and look between the two locations. Ideally, he would use a cheap camera that shoots 24p and either has reasonable sound quality, or uses a pocket sound recorder with me syncing in puraleyes.
He/she will have a camera, perhaps even the same 5D.
Your documentary is too important to put the burden of supplying you with useable footage on an inexperienced friend who cannot be expected to know how to handle the dozens of things that are involved besides pressing the start button. If you want some anecdotal experience: I asked a friend to merely press the start button for me once and showed them the button and how to verify the camera was recording and you guessed it, they couldn't do that single task and I lost something that can never be recaptured in that shoot. I'll never know what they pressed but it wasn't the start button! I'll never do that again and would hate to have you go through an experience like that.
The professional will also solve your audio requirements that you specify. It may not cost more than buying your friend the necessary equipment, the delays due to shipping and customs, the delays due to theft, and the sinking feeling you get when you see and hear the results of your friend's well-intentioned efforts.