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PhotoKit sharpener has three main components according to the sharpening methods Bruce Fraser developed: capture, creative, and output. The capture round of sharpening includes sharpening for source (camera MP count, anti-aliasing filter, etc) and image content (high-, mid- and low frequency). Many photographers use this round of sharpening to create a master image for later use.
The creative sharpening has tools applied selectively to portions of the image--e.g. sharpening brushes, depth of field, smoothing, etc. They must be applied individually and with good judgement to the image and can not be automated.
Output sharpening is not image or source dependent, but is determined by the image size and resolution, the type of output device (half-tone, continuous tone, injket, etc) and the paper type (glossy, matte, etc). You can try to do this on your own or with other tools available on the net, but Bruce did a great deal of testing to get the optimum numbers and this information is proprietary.
The new ACR sharpening features were developed in conjunction with Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe and apply the concept of capture sharpening to ACR. I don't know which capture sharpening approach is better, but, considering their source, I would expect them to be similar. The ACR sharpening integrates better into the work flow and is metadata based--you don't have to store a separate image with the capture sharpening.
Even if you use the ACR sharpening, you would probably find the creative and output modules of PhotoKit useful.
I have been using Canon's for the last 5 years, and Photokit Sharpener since it was released with excellent results, hardly ever having to override it's results - providing you set the correct capture option, from the four offered, to suit the image.
I was recently loaned a Nikon D3 and I found that Photokit capture sharpening was not good (to be fair at its default settings) with the D3 - needs some experimentation with the blend if sliders as the lights are too strong for D3 RAW files, causing obvious white haloes.
I am finding ACR's sharpening routine for capture sharpening excellent as I can adjust certain operations on-the-fly. IMHO ACR's sharpening routine,for capture sharpening is now preferable to Photokit capture sharpening. Prior to ACR V4 I would only set the sharpening prefs for previews only, as I disliked the sharpening tool offered.
I still wouldn't be without Photokit for output sharpening as it produces very good results with little or no user intervention.