This is a strong warning to all photographers or anyone else considering purchasing a license key for Nikon software, particularly Nikon Capture NX 2, from a Canadian company called iMixer Media, previously known as Imagemixer Media:

Do not buy any software of any kind from them. They have a known history of selling license keys that Nikon considers invalid and subsequently disables, and nobody I know has ever received a refund from them. Both Nikon USA and Nikon Canada specifically warns against them by name on their website. Read on for all the details.

Who are Imagemixer?

They are known on the internet for having sold Capture NX 2 license keys that Nikon later claimed were invalid. Capture NX 2 ‘phones home’ to Nikon’s servers whenever you launch it (unless you block it from doing so using a tool like Little Snitch) to check for updates and to confirm the validity of the license key. When Nikon decides a license key is invalid it sends a command back to your software to shut down immediately, and flashes a message on the screen informing the user that the license key is considered invalid.

I was one of the poor unfortunate mugs who, in 2008, purchased a license key for Capture NX 2 from ImageMixer Media. I was just starting out in photography and not yet making money from it, and Imagemixer had a good deal on, or so it seemed. I purchased the key and used the software just fine until one day in 2010. That day as I fired up NX2 it dutifully informed me that Nikon now considered my license key invalid. The application shut down and that was that. No RAW processing for me!

Of course I ran straight to the Nikon website, hoping for some sort of standard ‘Follow these steps to re-validate your purchased license keys’ process or something, but to my horror I found this:

It has come to our attention that product keys for Nikon software are being illegally sold and distributed from websites. We have confirmed the illegal sale and/or distribution of product keys for, as well as the unauthorized use of, the following products:

– Capture NX
– Capture NX 2
– Camera Control Pro
– Camera Control Pro 2

When unauthorized software use is confirmed in relation to the software license agreement, measures that prevent the use of Nikon software are implemented. Please contact Nikon if you believe that you have purchased an authentic product key, but the software indicates that the product key is unauthorized and the software can no longer be used.

Ah f***, is probably what I said. Or more likely something a lot harsher. Just to hammer home the point I also found this statement from Nikon USA about Imagemixer specifically:

It has come to our attention that a website called “Imagemixer.net” is attempting to sell Nikon software keys. This web site is not an authorized dealer and is not affiliated with Nikon Inc. in any way. Nikon Inc. cannot assist with any license keys sold by this site and cannot replace any non-working keys without proof of purchase from an authorized dealer.

But perhaps that isn’t damning enough. Perhaps you (and Imagemixer) are thinking, “but they’re based in Canada – maybe Nikon Canada recognises them?” and the answer is – nope. Here’s what Nikon Canada have to say:

It has come to our attention that a website named “Imagemixer.net” may be offering for sale Nikon software keys. This web site is not a Nikon Canada Authorized Dealer and is not affiliated with Nikon Corporation or any of its affiliates and subsidiaries.

Nikon Canada Inc. offers product support for Nikon products sold by Nikon Canada Authorized Dealers only, and will not assist with software license keys sold by unauthorized sources. Nikon Canada Inc. will only replace non-working software keys with proof-of-purchase from a Nikon Canada Authorized Dealer.

I did some more frantic Googling, hoping against all odds that maybe there was a loophole, maybe Nikon would make an exception, maybe Imagemixer hadn’t just taken my money and run. What I found told me the opposite. Lots of forum posts from similarly stranded NX2 users like this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one

I could go on. You get the idea.

Imagemixer customers using Capture NX 2 flocked to the web to complain but I don’t think a single one of us got anything out of Imagemixer because they simply stopped bothering to answer any correspondence. And Nikon replied that it was out of their hands because we’d not used an authorised dealer – something Imagemixer clearly claims to be on their website (see screen grab below). An expensive lesson learned.

I have to say that this spelled the beginning of the end of my on-again-off-again love affair with Nikon Capture NX 2. Partly because I couldn’t afford to buy it again, and partly because frankly it’s always been a steaming turd of an app whose main benefit to me was the ability to generate a JPG from the RAW that looked exactly like how I’d set my camera up. The software was slow, clunky, and a chore to deal with for bulk edits, but I really valued that Nikon look, a look I had never been able to match in Lightroom.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Getting screwed by Imagemixer was the mother of my desperation and so I found myself researching Lightroom once more. In the intervening years since my first look (Lightroom 1) it had come on leaps and bounds and to my delight now included a bunch of Nikon camera profiles that precisely recreate in RAW the look of my D700’s JPGs. Rejoice! It was with much glee that I scoured every last bit and byte of Nikon and Nik software from my iMac, and I’ve never looked back.

They’re baaa-aaack!

So yesterday I got an interesting email from a company called ‘iMixerMedia’ which is basically Imagemixer trading under a slightly different name. Turns out they’re still hawking ‘cheap’ license codes for Nikon and Nik software as this sloppy AdWords ad I just grabbed shows:

imagemixer ripoff nx 2

Imagemixer’s AdWords ad for their discounted Capture NX 2 license keys

Seeing as I’m a previous customer they obviously thought I might be interested in throwing away more of my money on their worthless products before being completely ignored when it all goes horribly wrong, and so they kindly sent me a marketing email this week.

Here’s the hilarious opening line:

We hope you’re getting the full use of the software you purchased from us.

A-HAAAAAAA-hahahahahahahaha! Ha! Ha. Haaaaaargh. You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty funny. To quote the delightfully sarcastic Blackadder, thank God I wore my corset because I think my sides have split.

Hey Imagemixer guys, quick newsflash: No, I’m not, and you know it – because I emailed you enough times trying to get a refund or an explanation, all of which you ignored.

Well anyway, having fallen off my chair laughing at the outrageous brass balls on these two-bit chancers, I decided to see what amends, if any, they might have made to their inventive business plan (‘Stage 1 – rip off customers; Stage 2 – write to them five years later and try to rip them off again’) and headed over to their website. Right there on the contact page I saw this little gem:

About Us

iMixerMedia.com is owned and operated by Market Click. We represent Pixela Corporation, the Rights Owners of ImageMixer software. We are also a Registered Dealer and Reseller of products from companies such as Sony, Nikon Inc. Adobe Systems Inc. and Nik Software Inc.

In case they edit that, I grabbed it:

imagemixer nikon scam

So then I headed over to the Nikon website again to check their list of Authorised Nikon Dealers, updated January 6th 2014 (four days ago at time of writing). Guess who isn’t on the list? Market Click, Pixela, Imagemixer or iMixer. Funny that, isn’t it?

Do Not Buy Software From Imagemixer Or iMixer

In case the point has not yet been made (and it has, but I love the drama) here it is one more time:

Nikon clearly states on their website that “(t)he only web site authorized to sell software keys alone (not boxed copies of software) is the Nikon Store”. And yet here comes ImageMixer trying to sell exactly that at a knockdown rate on their website under a blurb that claims they’re authorised to do so.

To me that reeks of bullshit. Please don’t give them your money.

Disclosure: It may well be that Nikon and Imagemixer have kissed and made up, and that Nikon just forgot to take down their page warning against Imagemixer, and that Nikon just forgot to add Imagemixer to their list of Authorised Dealers, and that Imagemixer are hawking entirely valid cheap-ass license keys despite Nikon officially claiming that nobody but Nikon may do so. I gave Imagemixer or iMixer or whatever they’re called ample opportunity to comment, emailing them once in reply to their marketing spam, and twice via their Contact Us page. If they ever get back to me to correct what may well be numerous egregious errors and misrepresentations on my part I’ll be sure to post it in an update.

If you don’t see that update on this page, please don’t be buying their ‘products’.

Update – 12 hours later

Well this is interesting. First of all, this post, this website, in fact everything I do online has proven very popular in the last 12 hours with a certain IP address in Toronto, Canada. I wonder who that could be? Hi guys!

Secondly, Imagemixer replied to my original email to them, in which I questioned the value of trying to re-sell me Capture NX 2 and suggested that if they thought I was going to fall for it twice they were in urgent need of medical attention and should ring 911 immediately (well, I laughed).

Their answer? That I likely “abused” my license key and either way it wasn’t their fault, Because. Their words:

Thank you for your email.

Sorry to hear that you are experiencing trouble with your Nikon Capture NX 2 software.

We understand customers have had issues with their product keys when attempting to reinstall or migrate their software in the past, however, this was an issue with the Nikon end user license issued by the manufacturer and not with the resellers. The end user license allows for the installation of the software on two computers, owned by the license holder only and will become null and void if abused. Any issue when attempting to reinstall or migrate the software, however, has now been resolved.

Please note too that all orders for Nikon products are processed through our affiliate program and every product key is authentic, legal and unique to each order.

A convenient pair of excuses: both almost impossible to prove otherwise by me at this stage as I have no intention of digging out my license key and reinstalling NX 2, and Nikon refuses to be drawn further on the topic. Still, let’s take them at their word for one fanciful second:

  • If it has been resolved why weren’t all customers informed? They’ve evidently got my email address – did they ‘lose’ my emails of complaint three years ago?
  • Why is Imagemixer still named as a company to avoid on Nikon’s US and Canada websites?
  • Why is Imagemixer still not listed as authorised resellers on Nikon’s sites?
  • If their keys are “authentic” and “legal” how do they explain that Nikon clearly states “(t)he only web site authorized to sell software keys alone (not boxed copies of software) is the Nikon Store”

Here are the facts as I see them: I did not abuse my license key; I installed Capture NX 2 on one laptop and one desktop computer which are my computers that I own. It did not stop working as a result of uninstalling it or reinstalling it, I simply loaded it up one day to do some work and Nikon shut the license key down and it stopped working. Same as it stopped working for everyone else I’ve linked to. Did we all abuse our software?

As for it all being a mixup that has since been resolved I defer to the authority, Nikon. They name Imagemixer as a company to be avoided, and Imagemixer aren’t listed on the official Nikon Authorised Resellers page.

The evidence speaks for itself, don’t you think?

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9 thoughts on “Do Not Buy Nikon Software From iMixer or ImageMixer

  1. I gotta play Devil’s advocate here.

    I went around this merry-go-round in 2011 after buying C/NX2 in good faith from iMixer. I then saw Nikon had a link to an authentication check. After Nikon confirmed my key was not valid I offered to pay the difference to legalise it. No deal. They wanted the full price despite the fact that I’d gone out on a limb to reveal my key and source to them. As you say, the iMixer site claims to be an authorised seller. When I recently downloaded the current version from Nikon I found my key blocked. I knew Nikon would have no mercy so I went back to iMixer and explained the update broke my key – could I have a new one? Withing three hours they obliged. At the end of the day I figure iMixer know more about customer service than Nikon. Sure they are within their rights to see my key as fraudulent. But I did buy in good faith and was willing to negotiate but Nikon played hard ball and got nothing. That’s poor business accumen. I can’t rationalise repurchase from Nikon at the full price. The product just isn’t worth the total. So I remain an unwilling iMixer customer for C/NX2. Yes, they duped me. But they did prcvide support which Nikon could have (and at least pocketed a partial sale). And as far as I can see Nikon has done nothing to shut down iMixer leaving them to continue to take Nikon sales. If anything, I feel badly let down by Nikon and well supported by iMixer! DOH!

  2. I can see why you feel that way but I disagree with your conclusions. Sure, iMixer gave you another serial that worked and in that you got a heck of lot more out of them than I ever did; my opinion of them is probably libellous in print. I hope the serial continues to work for you and isn’t another that turns up in Nikon’s blacklist one day, as that would have been my immediate suspicion!

    Fact is Nikon were within their rights, as damn frustrating as that was to me too – they warn about using unauthorised dealers and iMixer have never been in their authorised dealers list. After this I started paying a bit more attention to authorised dealers and software policies when buying new apps.

    Paying the difference to Nikon wouldn’t have worked for them because they evidently never saw any money from the original purchase made from iMixer. In their eyes you hadn’t paid them or an authorised dealer anything for NX2 so I can see why they wanted the full price. I have to say, I also did not consider it worth the price to ‘re-buy’ and found a way to reinstall an old copy of NX2 and didn’t let it update, meanwhile I transferred my workflow to Lightroom.

  3. Yes, I agree that the new key may well die. Like you I’ve actually moved to LR. But as far as paying Nikon a reduced price to legalise goes, it was a call they could have made. I wasn’t after the boxed set – just a valid and legal key. What the accountants call “opportunity cost”. No tangible outlay on Nikon’s part and a satisfied customer who will sing their praises. But they went the opposite way. They have officially announced the end of support for CNX-2 with the imminent release of the free CNX-D (which isn’t even close to a replacement). Yet I can still go and buy CNX-2 from them and they will gladly take my money, knowing full well that the product life cycle has reached the end of the road.

    No, I don’t disagree on the letter of the law. They can do it. But customer relationships are not built on the letter of the law but valued products and going the second mile to build allegances. They don’t HAVE TO. But given they haven’t stopped this fraudulent competitor I concider it reasonable for them to come to an arrangement. They haven’t. They had the opportunity but I’ve now moved to LR. So they totally lost the software sale and LR doesn’t lock me to Nikon hardware so they’ve left the door open for me to consider other hardware when I next upgrade.

    Of course, the real answer would have been for Nikon to shut down iMixer years ago. After all, Canada has applicable laws they coiuld use. It has taken them several years to even list them on the Nikon web site as being bad apples.

  4. imixermedia.com is totally scam. I am waiting my refund for 4 months. And I am sending at least 30 e-mails in a week. I bought with my company credit card, so company is going to suit them. There is no other wat I think.

  5. I also fell for the dupe, but it was in 2012, and the software worked fine until I retired my old machine and tried to install it on a new laptop a few weeks ago. Same problem as you, Owen, the key did not work, Nikon refused to update, pointing out that I had purchased from a non-authorized vendor. I had not seen the warning on Nikon’s site before. My multiple emails to imixer have gone unanswered. and will probably remain that way.
    Buyer Beware! There is a new con every time you turn around. My current impression of imixer is really, really poor. [imixer is intentionally spelled in lower case, and only part of their name because they do not deserve the respect of a full name nor the use of upper case letters].

  6. I had a similar experience with purchasing Capture NX2 from these guys. However when I contacted Nikon and explained they gave me a new valid serial number – without charge and just asked me to be more careful in future and to only buy from the Nikon Store. I must be a bit of a charmer…..
    Still annoyed that they are no longer supporting it as although I have Lightroom and CS5 for many tasks I still prefer NX2. Especially for quick fixing of and selective application of filters etc

  7. Looks like you’ve clearly done your homework! I can add some information and will add some more later. The fraudster and scam artist’s name is Richard Leonard Yates. My friend is a private investigator and has done quite a lot of uncovering of years and years of fraud and robbery about this individual. Birthday is May 12 1967. Lives in Toronto Canada and born in Welland Ontario. So for anyone wanting to sue him, I will update as more info becomes available. Narcissistic psychopaths like this must be exposed!!

  8. Hi Owen,
    Looks like you’ve done your homework – wow! You are spot on with one exception. These websites are all owned and operated by only one person, Richard L. Yates (D.O.B. May 12 1967) out of Toronto Ontario Canada. No such “company” exists. Note the fax number is in the US and is in Little Rock, Arkansas and if you call the number you receive the message that it “is not in service”. Also no phone number. No surprise there!! He is completely aware of his malicious and unscrupulous behavior yet continues to operate without any conscience.
    He in fact owns numerous websites and attempts to operate anonymously yet it is very easy to track him. He has been fraudulently operating for at least 10+ years. I highly recommend for anyone that has been a victim of his dubious scams to contact:
    Toronto Police 53 Division 75 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, ON M4R 2G9
    Phone:(416) 808-5300,
    Consumer Affairs Canada http://www.consumerhandbook.ca/en/topics/products-and-services/complaints ,
    Revenue Canada (IRS equivalent)http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/english/index.html, Consumer Protection Ontario http://www.ontario.ca/consumers/your-rights-under-consumer-protection-act

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