Imaging sonars such as side-scanning sonar or forward-looking sonar are becoming fundamental sensors in the underwater robotics field. However, using sonar images for underwater perception presents many challenges. Sonar images are usually low resolution with inherent speckled noise. To overcome the limited sensor information for underwater perception, we investigated preprocessing methods for sonar images and feature detection methods for a nonlinear scale space. In this paper, we focus on a comparative analysis of (1) preprocessing for sonar images and (2) the feature detection performance in relation to the scale space composition.