As far as I can tell, if something is picked up, it is immediately made available to the player. However, several systems, such as the famous U-2 for much of it's service life, actually require the aircraft to get back to base and get the film developed and THEN manually get the photos to the decision makers, by then the photos could be outdated.
Of course there are good gameplay reasons why this is not the case, but It could be interesting to implement as an optional realism option down the line...
That's kind of my desire too. I'd like to see reconnaissance get a realism overhaul in tandem with better modeling of ground vehicles in clutter and vehicle movement patterns, a fancy phrase for roads. Certain systems, like high-speed side-view cameras, can give a very detailed description of the target area, but only after some lag. Also, IR systems working better at night and, if one wants to be most accurate, IR systems working best on units that have moved recently.
I understand that LUA can accommodate this, but like shoot-and-scoot tactics, it'd be nice for this to be regularized in game mechanics.