Significant processing is necessary in order to transform a RAW image coming from a sensor into a high quality image.
Linear data from the sensor has a gamma applied to it
Lens shading correction (LSC) is applied to improve the uniformity of the illumination and color
Sharpening is applied
In low-light situations, particularly with small pixel compact camera modules, significant noise reduction is necessary in order to prevent a loss in quality. This processing should take care to avoid removing legitimate textures in the scene, particularly within skin tones.
The Color a