Many articles covering novel techniques, theoretical studies, attacks, and analyses have been published recently in the field of digital watermarking. In the interest of expanding commercial markets and applications of watermarking, this paper is part of a series of papers from Digimarc on practical issues associated with commercial watermarking applications. In this paper we address several practical issues associated with the use of web cameras for watermark detection. In addition to the obvious issues of resolution and sensitivity, we explore issues related to the tradeoff between gain and integration time to improve sensitivity, and the effects of fixed pattern noise, time variant noise, and lens and Bayer pattern distortions. Furthermore, the ability to control (or at least determine) camera characteristics including white balance, interpolation, and gain have proven to be critical to successful application of watermark readers based on web cameras. These issues and tradeoffs are examined with respect to typical spatial-domain and transform-domain watermarking approaches.