Excerpt: When work on a photo shoot you some times need to change your set up. Other flashes would turn off and you would have to turn them on by going to the flash ,but the 385 turns back from sleep by your shutter release. The light out put is good and the recycle time from 1/4 power to 1/128 is very fast.
Pros: Consistent Output, Easy To Use, Fast Recycling
Excerpt: This is an easy to use flash both for film and digital cameras. It can be used both for manual and automatic flash control. The description on the web site tells it all about its features. Thus far, I have no negative comments.
Pros: Consistent Output, Durable, Easy To Use, Versatile
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.