The last link really goes into great technical detail on how image data is captured, how images are processed and what we can expect in the future. There are even a few replies in the ATSNN forums from folks at Cornell (Dr. Jim Bell) and JPL (Dr. Mark Adler).
An awesome quote from Dr. Bell summed it up:
Ultimately you are right that people will need the calibrated data to do the color balancing correctly. We are working on doing that and will eventually get all those images out to the public using the NASA/JPL “Planetary Image Atlas” web site. It will take several months or more to get the work done, however. In the meantime, we thought it would be best to get *something* out there, and so that’s why we opted to get the raw data out fast, even though it’s still raw. The team has taken some criticism for this within the planetary science community because not many past missions have adopted such an open-data policy.
Let them whine, I say. People want and deserve to see the pictures as soon as we do.
Right on! Back to Martian Soil for a little more reading before bed.