Excerpt: I've used a Vivitar 283 as an outdoor fill flash in automatic mode and it works pretty well. I was hoping that upgrading to the 385HV would give me more power and perhaps more accurate flash metering. It turns out that in Auto mode the 385HV won't fire at all in daylight! It just decides that since you've got plenty of light you should just in natural light. I've found nothing to convince it otherwise. I emailed Vivitar and described the problem.
Excerpt: The unit was very well packed. After removing flash from box and as soon as I installed the batteries the flash started charging and kept firing every 5 seconds. I returned the flash unit for a full refund. I decided to purchase a Canon 430EX2 flash unit and am very happy with it. It also couples automatically with my Canon 60D. I realize I got a bad Vivitar unit, that can happen.
Excerpt: I am very pleased with the 385HV. It performs as advertised, a great buy for the cost. 2 features made me a believer,the off camera slave function and the ability to use a 6V power cord. I plan to by at least 3 more for my many projects where small flash units are ideal.