The Motion Picture Association of America also opposes the bill, saying it could make it harder to police movie piracy.
The bill would open up photographers, videographers and distributors to civil lawsuits if they take, sell or disseminate photos or videos of someone during private or family moments "in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person."
The bill doesn't specify whether public places, like Hawaii's beaches, would be exempt. The bill says it would apply to people who take photos from boats or anywhere else within ocean waters.
Hawaii's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing marks the first time lawmakers will discuss the bill publicly. English has said the bill is not intended to limit beach photos.
The state's largest newspaper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, published an editorial Thursday that called lawmakers who support the bill "star-struck."
The newspaper said the bill might not affect only journalists.
"It could also make lawbreakers out of anyone taking photographs in public places, be it an ordinary photojournalist or someone with a camera phone," the editorial said.
Anita Hofschneider can be reached at http://twitter.com/ahofschneider