I'm from a programming background and very new to photography. While working with the SDK for the Canon Rebel T3i, I realized that the only image formats natively supported by the camera are RAW (CR2) or JPEG.
I understand the JPEG standard to be lossy and although higher quality parameters can produce very good results, they cannot be compared to say a Bitmap of PNG at a binary level.
The CR2 is Canon's proprietary format but contains only the sensor data without any processing that is part of the produced JPEG file.
The question is, why would modern DSLRs use JPEG as the only non-RAW format? Wouldn't it be useful to have a 24-bit RGB format (taking advantae of the camera's automatic processing modes)?