I'm not dismissing it; I'm saying that ACR is expensive and not good enough:
- Case 1: I need decent Jpegs, nothing complicated for a batch of fashion show images (eg. 300 images ). Then the camera provides me with usable Jpegs *fast*.Photoshop cannot beat that because the in-camera Jpegs are pre-curved and pre-sharpened very nicely these days, and in-camera white balance determination is excellent on the high end Nikons.
- Case 2: I need to fine tune with Raw, color grade, noise reduce, sharpen ONE SELECTION. Then the camera manufacturer software does very good sharpening (they know the AA filter best) and also yields excellent color because they really know their sensor best .So the file gets converted in software X eg. C1 and then moved to PS for retouch. Kludgy but unavoidable.
Enough! ACR is a nice converter, but in-camera Jpegs are so good now that ACR is at best equivalent when set to defaults, and simply cannot and doesn't cut it in the cases when I really need to resort to Raw.
The truth is, the camera makers sold or gave away Raw converters before Adobe did, and have hugely improved their in-camera Jpeg pipeline, at the same time as Adobe has hugely improved ACR. But the camera makers have the convenience of the end-product on their side, and zero-time is a powerful argument.
For 5 or 6 years I did Raw systematically. Now I use the Jpegs, in 95% of cases, and you know what? I like the time I save.